Monday, 31 December 2012
Author Interview: Lindsay J. Pryor
About the Author:
Lindsay J. Pryor is a British Paranormal Romance author who writes dark, intense stories set in the dystopian world of Blackthorn.
Her trademark powerful vampire heroes and utterly combustible sensual romances have earned Lindsay comparisons with both J.R Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
A finalist in Mills & Boon’s New Voices competition in both 2010 and 2011, Lindsay has already proved a smash hit with readers.
Comments like “Utterly captivating”, “Jaw-droppingly good”, “Awesome”, “I forgot to blink”, “The sexual tension is off the charts”, “I nearly fainted when he removed her belt”, “I drooled on my keyboard” and even “Tell Kane he can have my soul RIGHT NOW!” convinced Lindsay she just might have what it took to become a published author.
With the launch of Blood Shadows, that dream is now a reality. Her journey to published author though has been a long one.
Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old, when she quickly decided that fantasy was more interesting than reality. She thought she’d grow out of it but hasn’t yet.
Despite years of bashing out stories on an old typewriter, it was the death of her father in 2007 that finally convinced Lindsay to try and become a published author.
“One of the last things my dad said to me was to do what I wanted to do in life. After he passed away, I pulled out all my scribbles from over the years and got back to writing what I loved most – paranormal romance.”
If reviews are anything to go by, it was a journey well worth making.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I never used to outline and I learned my lesson – nearly eight years on one book (not from the Blackthorn series). I now always outline character development, key points of conflict, and space out pivotal moments in relation to both. I like to know the direction a book is heading, but I’m not too prescriptive because I find that hampers a character’s natural development. There’s always an element of spontaneity in what I write and I thrive on the unexpected that comes with that. I want to be part of the adventure too.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Yes, and I think it’s important to give them some scope as long as it’s within reason. Kane (the hero) ‘rewrote’ the last few chapters of Blood Shadows from what I had originally planned. It was actually better because of it!
What is your favourite food?
I love Italian food.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Most definitely a night owl. I’ve never coped with mornings, despite years of trying to retrain myself. It doesn’t help that I do all my best thinking at night. I’ll never be one of these enthusiastic, everything-done-by-eight in the morning kind of people. Coffee, shower and drive to work, or, on my writing days, trundle to my study still in my pyjamas, is the way I’ve always been.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to Universal Studios in Florida. I’m a huge film buff, so would love the experience.
Do distant places feature in your books?
No – Blackthorn is based in an alternative reality. It’s gritty, urban backdrop that could reflect many a city.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Only sometimes when I’m revising or editing a book. I tend to work in complete silence.
Blood Shadows is the first book in the Blackthorn dark paranormal romances series. In an imaginary future, the world is controlled by humans who rule over vampires with an iron fist. Society is divided and ‘third species’ are both feared and discriminated against. Additional seeds of unrest are sown by whispers of a vampire prophecy foretelling the overthrow of the human regime.
Blackthorn itself is the most impoverished of several administrative districts – a real melting pot for vampires, lycans and humans – and a subsequent hive of social unrest.
This dark and dystopian backdrop is the setting for intense forbidden romances – romances that will not only impact on the fate of humankind, but also on the fate of the ‘third species’ who have spent far too long waiting for their time.
Blood Shadows is the first book in the series – the blurb is coming up soon…
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
Wow – where to start? I’ve been writing for nearly thirty years and began to give serious consideration to publication when I was in my twenties, so I’ve picked up quite a bit along the way.
I guess primarily I’ve learned how tough this industry is – and how subjective. Not just from the point of view of publishers, agents and editors, but also readers and reviewers.
You have to be prepared to work damned hard with very little reward for a very long time with the prospect of never making it at all. And if you do make it to being published, that really is just the start. Getting yourself out there is a tremendous amount of work and there’s no guarantee of success.
It’s so worth it though!
Is there anything you would do differently?
I don’t think so. I sometimes wonder if I should have pushed myself to get published sooner, but I’ve spent a long time developing my skills as a writer as well as the series itself, and that’s really paying off now. I have a very strong sense of my voice and the direction I want the books to go in, so that’s made the process relatively straightforward for me, my publisher and my editor.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
I started writing paranormal romance over twenty years ago because I couldn’t find any in my local bookshop. It wasn’t accessible back then, certainly not in the UK. I guess because of that, and because up until recent years PNR wasn’t so prevalent, I didn’t think my stories would ever see the light of day. I kept working on the Blackthorn series in the background though as I began striving to be a published author with something more mainstream.
That was until everything changed for me back in 2007 when my dad lost his seven-year battle with aggressive multiple myeloma. After years of living on the knife-edge of hope that a miracle cure would be found, I saw firsthand the human condition in all its vulnerability and limitations. Anyone who has been through that kind of tragedy knows it makes you see the world very differently. Another personal tragedy only a few months later and never had I been so aware of how precious life is and how important it is to chase your dreams. My Dad had already told me that in one of our last conversations: to make sure I did what I wanted to do in life.
I pulled out all my scribbles and started to construct full-length novels for the Blackthorn series. I absorbed myself in the pleasure of the stories with no worries about future publication. I went back to writing for me. It helped me through the darkest times of my life as well as reminding me how important it is to write what you love.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Take your time. Don’t rush to submit to publishers. Only sub the best work you can produce and only when you are sure you have found your voice. First and foremost, write what you love because sometimes that’s the only reward you get. And measure your success as a writer by how many times you get up, not how many times you fall.
What are three words that describe you?
Imaginative. Determined. Empathetic.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is my favourite book of all time, closely followed by Wuthering Heights and Dracula. I have many favourite writers all for very different reasons. Emily Bronte, Anne Rice, James Herbert and Roald Dahl are amongst my favourites.
BLOOD SHADOWS (Book 1 in the Blackthorn series)
Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried but few have survived.
For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed seven years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.
She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy.
The vampire who despises everything she stands for.
The second book in the series – BLOOD ROSES – will be released in the Spring of 2013.
Any places readers can find you on the web:
Thank you, Lindsay and good luck with your books!